Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Obopay Launches Widgets

If you'd like to try it, go ahead...make my day!
I'll let you know how it works out...

By the way, Chip In did this a while ago...

Just type in the amount ($300 limit, but you can do it more than once or in each widget...lol), click send, and you done.

If you're not sure which one to use, try both and I'll let you know which one I liked better...


Cred-Ex's New Alt-Pay

Secaucus, New Jersey (PRWEB) January 13, 2009 -- Cred-Ex (www.Cred-Ex.com) prepares to launch its new alternative payment solution. Cred-Ex helps combat identity theft through its patented process.

Cred-Ex will grant instantaneous credit to consumers online on its website or at its participating merchants' shopping cart screens. Merchants will feature the Cred-Ex icon next to Visa, MasterCard, American Express and Discover. Security-conscious consumers that don't want to use their credit cards online will be able to make online purchases with Cred-Ex. Online research firm comScore, Inc. reported that online shopping is increasing at approximately 15% per year, as more and more consumers shop on the Internet. Further, according to Rosetta, retail adoption of Alternative Payments Soared 23 Percent in 2008.

While composed of complex algorithms, Cred-Ex's patented process is easy for merchants and consumers to use. Unlike its competitors, Cred-Ex's platform does not require consumers to input harmful personal data such as their credit card, bank account or Social Security numbers. As a result, Cred-Ex does not store consumers' sensitive data on its servers. This will protect the consumer's identity. Cred-Ex typically approves a new application in 5 to 10 seconds.

Cred-Ex's patent also applies to its new m-Commerce solution. Consumers who have a Cred-Ex account will be able to use their cell phones to make purchases at the point-of-sale at participating merchants' brick and mortar locations. The Company expects their m-Commerce solution to increase consumer loyalty and combat consumers' rotating their credit cards. m-Commerce is already prevalent in Europe and Asia and is just starting to take hold in the US. The Company has satisfactorily concluded testing its m-commerce solution.

Coleen Barbiere, Chief Operating Officer, says, "Merchants welcome new ways to increase webstore sales and profits by increasing conversion ratios. And our Cred-Ex payment option, coupled with our new m-Commerce solution, will revolutionize alternative payment solutions in the US."

Merchants benefit from alternative payment solutions because they increase webstore profits. CyberSource recently reported that additional payment choices can increase merchants' sales conversion rates by up to 14%. Plus, Jupiter Research found that alternative payment solutions increase average order size by 13.3%. In today's challenging economy, alternative payment solutions can improve a much needed increase in the bottom line.

About Cred-Ex: Cred-Ex is the main brand of Emerging Payments Technologies, Inc. that has been a leader in alternative billing for over 10 years. Emerging Payments Technologies, Inc. began developing the Cred-Ex platform and brand in 2004 to lead the trend in online billing, e-Commerce, and now m-Commerce. Cred-Ex's owners have built several major companies in Europe that include Nocreditcard.com (www.nocreditcard.com), the European pioneer in alternative billing; Fluendo (www.fluendo.com) that specializes in delivering products and consulting services focusing on UNIX and GNU/Linux; Fluendo comes out ahead by combining best-of-breed systems from the Open Source world with a strong team of highly knowledgeable software engineers; and Aedgency (www.aedgency.com ), a leading interactive advertising agency, performance-based only, that specializes in Search Engine Marketing (SEM), and contextual advertising. Aedgency was responsible for generating over €200 million in online traffic arbitrage from network end users in 2008.

Eric Gelb
Business Development
T: 201-865-7600 x 102

Source: Press Release

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Swiping Device Takes Back Seat

Creative Mobile Technologies (CMT), the nation's largest comprehensive taxi technology services provider, has inked a deal with Boston Cab Dispatch, Boston's premier radio affiliation service with almost 500 member taxis comprising over 25% of the Boston taxi industry. The deal will bring Boston taxi passengers a quick and easy rear-seat, self-swipe credit card payment system as well as multi-channel, interactive media screens and additional technologies designed to enhance the passenger experience and drive new efficiencies into taxi service offerings. The technology will also bring Boston Cab members into compliance with the City of Boston's mandate, that by April 2009, all taxis must provide rear-seat credit card acceptance capability.

This is the second major American taxi company in less than three months to announce the implementation of CMT's state-of-the-art taxi technology. In October 2008, CMT struck a similar deal with Chicago's Yellow, Checker and Blue Diamond family of 2,600 taxicabs. CMT is currently operating in more than 5,500 New York City taxicabs.

These new service offerings are based on CMT's "FREEdom Solution," developed in New York City by leading technology professionals and recognized leaders of the taxi industry. CMT's signature Passenger Information Monitors (PIMs) feature credit card acceptance functionality enabling passengers to securely swipe their own credit card and complete wireless transactions in seconds. The CMT PIM, which features a uniquely tailored news and entertainment network as well as GPS-powered maps that passengers can control with state-of-the-art touch-screen technology, has revolutionized and redefined the modern rider's taxicab experience.

"CMT is very excited about bringing our award-winning product to the great City of Boston whose exceptional taxi system is exemplified by Boston Cab Dispatch and its forward-thinking CEO, Brett Barenholtz," said Ron Sherman, CEO of Creative Mobile Technologies.

Jason Poliner, CMT's Chief Operating Officer, said "Boston taxi passengers will now have the quickest, safest, and most reliable credit card payment process available while the Boston taxi industry will benefit from higher passenger volumes and larger tips. Our completely re-engineered, state-of-the-art touch screens feature entertaining media content and important local information that will provide a value-added service previously unavailable to Boston riders."

Boston Cab Dispatch is a well-respected innovator in the Boston taxi industry. The company has remained ahead of the curve, having implemented the first computerized dispatch system in Boston -- 12 years before any other taxi company. Boston Cab currently has the greenest taxi service in New England.

"While our mandate is simply to provide credit card access in the back seat, we have chosen to go a step further and embrace the latest technology available to the taxi industry," said Brett Barenholtz, CEO of Boston Cab Dispatch. "After an exhaustive and thorough research process, we are convinced that CMT's excellent record of safe, reliable credit card processing, coupled with its superior media screen product, provides a perfect match for Boston Cab which always strives to provide our members and customers with the best possible service."

Boston Cab Dispatch's drivers will also benefit from the implementation of CMT's advanced solution. The technology will vastly improve credit card transaction reliability, efficiency, and ease-of-use in both the driver and passenger components of the transaction process, and the seamless integration with Boston Cab Dispatch's existing host dispatch technology will increase the fleet's geographic coverage capabilities and eliminate the need for redundant in-vehicle data communications appliances.

About CMT:

Creative Mobile Technologies (CMT) began providing New York City taxicabs with credit and debit card processing, media and advertising content, text messaging, interactive passengers maps, GPS, and electronic trip sheets in 2007. In New York, CMT, which gained a reputation as the "by the industry, for the industry" taxi technology solution, partnered with Bank of America, World Line Communications, Feeney Wireless and Mobile Knowledge. CMT's media partner, Clear Channel Taxi Media developed the exclusive NY10 Taxi Entertainment Network with content by NBC Universal. CMT is now the nation's leading provider of total taxi technology solutions, operating in over 5,500 New York City taxicabs and soon to be in over 2,600 Chicago taxicabs. CMT's "FREEdom Solution" received one of VISA's highest honors for its commitment to credit card security and privacy protection. To learn more, visit www.cmtnyc.com .

About Boston Cab Dispatch, Inc.:

Boston Cab Dispatch has been the taxi industry leader in Boston for the last 50 years, relying on its four generations of experience. Boston Cab's premier radio association boasts almost 500 taxis as members. For over a decade, the company has featured computerized dispatching and continues its commitment to update, improve, and advance its dispatch system to meet the evolving needs of the industry.

Source: Company press release.

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PIN Debit and PCI Compliance

Howard Riell, in an article written for Convenience Store Decisions, writes about PCI compliance.  As you'll undoubtedly notice while reading the article, PIN entry devices, or PED's are an integral part of PCI certification. The long and the short of it is that all PED's must be certified by PCI-approved laboratories and encrypt PIN's with Triple DES.  I know how that's done with a hardware device...(we're in the midst of getting our personal swiping device tested and approved for PCI compliance) but I'm not quite sure how it would/could/should be done with a software application.  (See "Software Breach 92 Times More Likely Than Hardware")

Here's some snippets from from the CSN story, entitled: "The High Stakes Of Compliance:"

It was in September 2006 that the credit card companies formed the PCI Security Standards Council in the hopes of battling fraud. Today, all merchants who accept payment card transactions must comply with the PCI Data Security Standard or face sizable penalties.  Indeed, the passing grade for PCI is 100%, which means failing even one of the criteria will bring consequences...

Editor's Note:  So, it's obvious that these Triple DES mandates are an integral element of PCI compliance and in 5+ months TDES is required on "all debit transactions." Since Jan. 1, 2008, all newly manufactured debit card processing terminals must incorporate PIN entry devices that have been certified by PCI approved laboratories

  • By January 2009, newly installed fuel pumps that accept debit cards must feature PCI-compliant encrypted PIN pads.  See "Triple DES for GAS" 
  • Manufacturers have to begin installing key pads capable of implementing a new Triple Data Encryption Standard (TDES), which requires that data be encoded several times through an encrypted PIN pad.
  • By July 1, 2009, TDES will be required for all debit transactions and by
  • June 30, 2010, all fuel dispensers will need to be able to encrypt PINs according to the TDES.
The very next day, July 1st 2010, pumps that process debit transactions must be upgraded with encrypted PIN pads, and in-store POS terminals have to be certified as PCI-compliant.  The devices must also process all debit transactions using TDES.

One of my favorite lines from the article comes from Bruce Snyder,
manager of IP retail systems for 395-store Kwik Trip based in La Crosse, Wis“ who instead, sounds like a spokesman for Gemalto.  (see: Gemalto Wants EMV in USApparently he doesn't like the implementation costs (retailers will need to replace outdated hardware) and thinks that as long as they have to get new equipment anyway, then V/MC and the banks should spend billions to implement EMV and when they're done, he'll replace Kwik Trip 'sexisting equipment with Chip and PIN readers.  Problem is, it won't be Kwik...it'll be years, if they started today.  (don't hold your breath)

"We have this silly little mag stripe that is so vulnerable and penetrable and we are building an infrastructure around it to protect the information, and a lot of people are making good money on that,” Snyder said. “With the new rulings on EPPs, if I want to continue to do debit we have to replace all of our dispenser doors and PIN pads at a huge expense to us to remain compliant. What we have to do is put in an encrypted PIN pad at the dispenser if we want to continue to do debit there.” But the new door and PIN pad will cost $1,500 per dispenser. (Ouch!  Consumers can get our SwipePIN device for merely the cost of shipping and handling, which in the face of $1500...makes for a rather compelling value proposition)

“Start doing the math on that and now you have to make a decision: can we afford to do this? And what happens if we don’t?” Snyder said. “We need to change that method of presenting ourselves for a credit transaction and make it more secure so that we don’t have to build all of this stuff around it to try to protect a very flawed method...”

Read the complete story at Convenience Store Decisions

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Wanna Get Away? Get Banks OK in UK

If you "wanna get away" and you live in the UK, make sure your bank nose..otherwise you'll have "slim pickin's" when it comes to payment options...

Travelers have been told that they need to inform their banks about their travel destinations, when they go away, according to a recent report in the newspaper The Times.

This is in the aim of combating credit card fraud, where several holiday goers found their debit or credit cards frozen, when they are abroad. Banks monitor card usage and often freeze them if they begin showing unusual behavior.

The banks claim that if customers inform them of their travel plans, then it means they can make a proper assessment of the information. HBOS told the newspaper, saying: “If people are going to Africa, South America, we like to know. Also, we like to know about people going to Eastern Europe.” This is due to the increase of credit card fraud taking place in these locations.

However, locations in the United States are said to be the most likely places that involve fraud with British cards. Around £24.6 million was taken from UK cardholders in the country in 2008, marking an increase of 118 percent in the last three years. Much of this fraud is conducted by criminals who copy the information on the card's magnetic strip when it is used. They can then use this information to create fake cards for their own use. Credit card fraud has become less likely in the UK, due to the introduction of Chip and PIN.

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Free Javelin Webinar - Data Breach Defense 2009

Complimentary Webinar on January 28, 2009

Attend a Javelin Strategy & Research Webinar on January 28, 2009 at 10:00 AM PST to learn about the latest developments in data breach risk management for financial services and other industries.

Senior Javelin Analyst, Tom Wills, will share updates and insights based on recent Javelin primary market research about:

(1) The data breach risk landscape in 2009
- Insider fraud, Web application attacks, and other emerging threats
- The impact of a down economy on identity theft

(2) The impact of data breaches on customer relationships and corporate reputation
a. Customer attrition statistics
b. How consumers view financial institutions as responsible for data breach incidents – even when the institution is not directly involved
c. What actions customers expect of organizations that have suffered a breach

(3) US regulatory update
- New State laws requiring specific preventative steps
- The Federal Trade Commission’s Red Flag rules

(4) Best practices for Prevention, Detection, and Resolution™
a. Securing sensitive information
b. How to recognize when a data breach has taken place
c. How a careful, high-touch and cross-functional data breach response can mitigate the risks of customer loss and litigation

(5) Vendor Spotlight: ID Experts – led by ID Experts President Rick Kam

Javelin Speaker: Tom Wills, Senior Analyst – Security, Fraud, and Compliance
Title: Data Breach Defense 2009: Prevention, Detection and Resolution Strategies to Protect Your Reputation and Stay Compliant with Regulations
Date: Wednesday, January 28, 2009
Time: 10:00 AM PST

Space is limited. Reserve your Webinar seat now at: https://www1.gotomeeting.com/register/285178252

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Visa "Zero-ing In" on Liability

Zero Liability Helps Protect Canadian Visa Business Cards

Additional fraud protection adds value for Canadian small businesses

Visa Inc. (NYSE: V) announced today in Canada an important expansion of its Zero Liability program, which will now include Visa Business cards issued by Canadian financial institutions. The move can help better protect Visa Business cardholders from losses due to fraudulent transactions.

In a consumer survey(i) of more than one thousand Canadian Visa cardholders, 80 percent of respondents indicated they were extremely or very interested in having Zero Liability protection on their Visa card, with 30 percent ranking Zero Liability as the most appealing feature.

"Visa Business cards offer many benefits to small business owners in Canada and the addition of Zero Liability is another reason for them to use a Visa card with confidence," said Kareem Chouli, Head of Commercial Solutions in Canada, Visa Inc. "Security is a priority for Visa, and the Zero Liability policy is an important layer of our fraud prevention efforts."

Visa's Zero Liability policy protects business cardholders against fraud exactly the same way as it protects personal cardholders. Zero Liability means that business cardholders who have been victims of credit card fraud, including unauthorized transactions made via telephone or on the internet, do not pay for fraudulent transactions. Zero Liability does not apply to transactions with Visa Corporate or Visa Purchasing cards.

Personal Visa cardholders, including those who have been issued a Visa chip and PIN card, from Canadian-issued financial institutions will continue to be protected by the Zero Liability policy. All Visa cardholders must comply with the terms of their cardholder agreement including protecting their PIN where applicable.

With Visa Business cards, small businesses can conveniently manage their finances by separating business and personal spending, and tracking and analyzing expenses online. Online resources at visa.ca/smallbusiness include free business tools and guides, articles, as well as information about the Visa Savings for Business program - offering exclusive discounts to Canadian Visa Business cardholders.

Source: Press Release

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Interswitch Targeted by Fraudsters

Last week, in a post entitled "ChipPin In" I covered a story from the Nigerian Punch regarding that country's transition from magstripe to Chip and PIN.  Interswitch is Nigeria's premier transaction switching platform and evidently, they have their hands full when it comes to dealing with fraudsters.  From "phishing"  to "phake" websites, it's no wonder they have decided to implement Chip & PIN...

Interswitch exposes failed ATM fraud attempt, says ‘don’t disclose your PIN number’
Internet fraudsters are at work again. They are trying once again to defraud Automated Teller Machine (ATM) card users by sending fraudulent mail purportedly in the name of Interswitch Nigeria Limited, the switching company which drives the ATM and debit card network of Nigeria’s 24 banks.

Mitchell Alegbe, managing director of Interswitch assures card users however that his company is on top of the situation and that the card users will have no problems as long as they do not disclose their PIN numbers to anyone. Alegbe says Interswitch is the nation's foremost transactions and switching company, with all the 24 banks connected to its network to provide electronic banking services through debit and credit cards, ATM and point of sale terminals (POS) and that it is constantly deploying new technologies to address the issue.

In a recent attempt, the fraudsters sent out e-mail to random addresses attempting to get ATM and debit card users to disclose their PIN numbers. The said mail read”:This is to notify you that our services are being upgraded to a new, better and more secured system . You are now required to click here and register all your debit cards, X-change cards, and cash cards online immdiately so as to enable your card to work on our new servers. Only registered cards will work with the ATM machines.”

Interswitch says this message is not from it and that card holders should ignore it.The company adds that on no account should any card holder disclose his or her PIN number to any third party.

In a previous attempt, fraudsters allegedly set up a fake website which attempted to replicate the Interswitch website and the company promptly moved to get the site shut down. Officials of the company told Business Day that the company has put in place a technology that enables it detect and shut down any fake Interswitch website immediately it appears on the internet and it has shut down such websites since the technology was installed.

In addition to this, the company in collaboration with participating banks embarked on a massive enlightenment campaign to inform cardholders on the activities and operations of the company and means of detecting fraud attempts and protecting their card information from getting into wrong hands.
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